Summer birding has definitely set in at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, where there is no longer any hint of migration. That said, the few surprises this week can not realistically be attributed to migratory movements.
From Owen Point one can usually see a few REDHEADS, and yesterday an out-of-season GREATER SCAUP was also there. It is expected that the PIED-BILLED GREBES in the marsh will soon have young ones trailing them. While GREAT EGRETS continue to be visible in the trees on High Bluff Island, they are increasingly being seen in the marsh and flying overhead. Three young birds are now in the nest of OSPREYS at Salt Point. An AMERICAN COOT was seen from a canoe in the marsh. For the first time since mid-April, the only shorebirds seen in the past week are resident birds, including breeding PIPING PLOVERS, which now have three chicks wandering around. Surprisingly, the three adults that had been present throughout the season were joined by a fourth adult on Tuesday, which apparently absconded (eloped?) before Wednesday with the third of the other adults, i.e., the one that did not appear to belong to the breeding pair. A BONAPARTE'S GULL at Owen Point on June 26 was very late. Over 100 CASPIAN TERNS are usually roosting throughout the day at Owen Point and on an adjacent gravel bar. The COMMON TERNS on Gull Island have hatched their young.
A ROCK PIGEON was on the lawn beside the Park store today. No owls have been reported recently, but from previous years it seems likely that NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS are breeding in the Park, and their presence might be betrayed even in July by scolding chickadees. A MERLIN was seen on Saturday. Two birders discovered a HOODED WARBLER in Jobes' woods on Tuesday. The bird could be heard from the trail yesterday. An out-of-season PINE SISKIN was gorging itself on nyjer seed all afternoon yesterday at 186 Bayshore Road.
To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton.
Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Access to the offshore islands is restricted from March 10 onward to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there.
Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.